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Waves SSL vs SSL FX G384 vs URS 1980 - The advanced Test
View Poll Results: Which compression do you like better?
I like Test1
36 Votes - 17.48%
I like Test2
33 Votes - 16.02%
I like Test3
67 Votes - 32.52%
1+2 are my favourites. I can't tell the difference!
4 Votes - 1.94%
1+3 are my favourites. I can't tell the difference!
8 Votes - 3.88%
2+3 are my favourites. I can't tell the difference!
10 Votes - 4.85%
Are you kidding me?? They all sound the same!
23 Votes - 11.17%
Don't waste my time! I hate SSL compressors!
25 Votes - 12.14%
Voters: 206. You may not vote on this poll

Old 12th February 2006
  #1
theother πŸŽ™οΈ
Guest
Waves SSL vs SSL FX G384 vs URS 1980 - The advanced Test

You think the other test was difficult? (no pun intended) Well, try this:

One audio file was sent to the SSL FX G384 compressor (serial number below 200 = a good one) via Apogee DA-16X and AD-16X.

The next just through the Apogee DA-16X and AD-16X (in and outs cross-patched) and then through the Waves SSL stereo compressor.

And the third through the Apogee's and then URS 1980.

All converters clocked by BigBen. 44.1kHz/24bit.

UV22HR 16 bit has been used after the processing on the final files to reduce the download to 16 bit.

I tried to match all compressors as closely as possible so I got the best phase cancellation when phase-reversing one file.

Even with the same settings it was obvious that the compression on all units is slightly different, no matter how hard I tried. (You can import the files and phase reverse one to hear the difference yourself)

The settings I used were:

Ratio 4, Attack 10ms, release 0.3, the gain reduction hitting 4db.

For the DrumsOnly files:

Ratio 4, Attack 3ms, release 0.3, gain reduction hitting 8db. (for this test to hear them working!)

Again, I tried to match the gain reduction and level so I got the best phase cancellation. (I didn't pay any attention to what the meters ate showing because that can be misleading)

Now tell us what you think.

Which file is what? What do you like best?

I changed the order compared to the old test. So what was Test1 there doesn't mean it's Test1 again, but it could be......who knows....

The poll askes for what you like best, and not what do you think is the hardware.

If this test is doing your head in go over to the simple one:

https://gearspace.com/board/high-end/59002-waves-ssl-vs-ssl-fx-384-test.html

The results have been posted! Look further down the thread (page 3)....Don't want to post them here to spoil the fun....

On page 2 of the thread there are additional files if you are interested...and on page 4, thanks to Svein, there is an Impact compressor file.
Attached Files

NewTest Test1.wav (5.72 MB, 36832 views)

NewTest Test2.wav (5.72 MB, 42403 views)

NewTest Test3.wav (5.72 MB, 43641 views)

No compression.wav (5.72 MB, 36910 views)

Old 12th February 2006
  #2
theother πŸŽ™οΈ
Guest
The drums only:

DrumsOnly Test1 here has the same compressor as Test1 before. And so on....
Attached Files

NewTest DrumsOnly Test1.wav (3.03 MB, 7235 views)

NewTest DrumsOnly Test2.wav (3.03 MB, 6114 views)

NewTest DrumsOnly Test3.wav (3.03 MB, 6278 views)

No compression DrumsOnly.wav (3.03 MB, 3808 views)

Old 12th February 2006 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
h4nc0's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
if I had to pick, my prerference would be:

3 -> 2 -> 1

1&2 sounded pretty similar to me. Very punchy snares, but I thought 3 sounded truer to the original. Heck, what do I know.
Old 12th February 2006 | Show parent
  #4
theother πŸŽ™οΈ
Guest
I just did the blind test myself, and this time I really struggled. Yesterday I could easily and consistently pick the better sounding one, which always turned out to be the hardware.

Maybe it's just to early in the morning....
Old 12th February 2006 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Nut
 
kaipiranha's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Different order here:

1 -> 3 -> 2

I dunno... 1 is the only one that feels right apart from the uncompressed version, 3 is bearable and 2 makes me feel uncomfortable...

Kai
Old 12th February 2006 | Show parent
  #6
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
I think and deduce (I have the Waves demo) that NewTest2 is the hardware, NewTest3 is the Waves plug in and NewTest1 is the URS 1980. I like NewTest2 the best as it has more spatial depth to it and it sounds more like a record. NewTest3 has a more open and s***** sound - it keeps the transients of the keyboards, percussion and bass line, but the kick and snare sound less natural than on NewTest2. NewTest1 is my least favourite. If my thoughts and deductions are correct maybe I should start saving for a hardware compressor. If I'm wrong I'd better shut up and play guitar.
Old 12th February 2006 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Dom & Roland's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Much harder to tell on this one....but i think

1. hardware
2. urs
3. waves

Oh yeah and i prefer no.1 (smoother when listening to the crash over the drum attacks)but it wasn't as immediately obvious as in the first test....

This was listening to drums only btw...

Strangely i prefer 3 when listening to the full mix
Still only listening on my laptop speakers though..
Old 12th February 2006 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Riad's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I liked 3, 2, and 1

3 Sounded a tad darker, which may be the Waves, but somehow it sounded a little better to me.

But I would have to say that 3 and 1 sounded very close.
Old 12th February 2006 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
This No.1 seems to be the last threads No.2, which I didnΒ΄t like - somehow muffeled release on snare attack.

No.2 and 3 are so close (apart from more highs in 2) itΒ΄s hard to tell which one I like better, but I choose No.3, feels more "analogue" or fundamental to me.

So IΒ΄d say:

1. Waves
2. URS
3. SSL

Totally wrong - so curious?!
Old 12th February 2006 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Now IΒ΄m really confused, listened again at louder levels and would change as follows:

1. SSL
2. Waves
3. URS

At louder levels snare transients cut through more on 2 and 3 so I think they could be the plugs.

Still confused though...
Old 12th February 2006 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
My guess would be, on BOTH tests as I think you have made the same order (even though you say it might not be).

1. URS (snare transient really "rough" and has very little 'meat' to it)
2. SSL (smooth, least "squashed in a bad way")
3. Waves (quite close to nr 2 but the snare transient again comes trough as a "block" in stead of a smooth "slam!").

These are my uneducated guesses.

Cheers!
bManic
Old 12th February 2006 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Nut
 
papiel's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
1>3>2 here
Old 12th February 2006 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
the other is dr.evil... downloading the drum files now. tried not to read too many other reviews so as not to influence my judgement.

ok, on a laptop again. #1 and #3 are so close it's ridiculous. #2 had more ambience so sounds like it's squashing a little harder/faster attack.

which do i like more? for more squashed sound, #2. for a more controlled sound, #1 or #3.

i hope #1 and #3 are waves/384. after listeing again, i guess i like #1 over #3 by a very slight margin.

now stop the torture and POST!!!!
Old 12th February 2006 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Head
 
mammath's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Having listened to both tests (music w/ drums & drumsonly), I've come to this conclusion:

1. URS
2. SSL
3. Waves

2 always sounded better to me and 3 did sound closest to 2, but not as "controlled" (as raal said). This is evidenced especially in the highs.
Old 12th February 2006
  #15
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
On the whole mix: 3 > 1 > 2
On drums: 1 > 3 > 2

Overall 2 sounds the smoothest to me. A bit darker. But also more squashed with some pumping artefacts, so I've given it the lowest marks. Might have been higher if driven less.

On the whole mix: 3) sounds most transparent to me.
On drums: 1) has a nice bite and good separation between hits on drums. 3) a close second. The 2) snare sounds good but on the whole, again too squashed.

I have no idea what sounds are from which setup heh
Old 12th February 2006 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Ruudman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The URS can't be that "bad" since people have different opinions on which it is...


ruudman
Old 12th February 2006 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Head
 
mammath's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruudman
The URS can't be that "bad" since people have different opinions on which it is...
And that's EXACTLY the point, I think. We're coming to a junture where the lines are blurred somewhat. BUT what if these subtle differences are increased.....with more instances of these comps, on the individual channels? Just a thought.

Anyway, I'm very appreciative of theother's experiment, whatever the outcome. Thank you!
Old 12th February 2006 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
kingofswing's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
On the drums side:

I have to say i prefered the uncompressed file. It has more punch, and crispness.

The compressed drums sound drenched out to me.
Old 12th February 2006
  #19
Gear Nut
 
johndough's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
3-2-1

But I too have to have to say on the drums only side I preffer the uncompressed file. This is strange....
Old 12th February 2006 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
kingofswing's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by johndough
3-2-1

But I too have to have to say on the drums only side I preffer the uncompressed file. This is strange....
Its not strange. Its when you compress dums together...the pumping effect is more apparent.


I prefer to compress single shots or maybe 2 elements at the most together.
Old 12th February 2006
  #21
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Add Voxengo Marquis t3 mode to the test. It is modeled after SSL Bus comp schematic.
Old 12th February 2006 | Show parent
  #22
Gear Maniac
 
axtrak's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Drum only samples:

I have no clue what is what,

but i like number 2 most, the kick is nicer than in the other examples and the snare is punchy.

Number 1 has also a punchy snare, but the kick is not as cool as in number 2

Number 3 seems a bit boring and lifeless
Old 12th February 2006 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
nukmusic's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
pretty close too...
I liked : 3,2,1
Old 12th February 2006 | Show parent
  #24
theother πŸŽ™οΈ
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruudman
The URS can't be that "bad" since people have different opinions on which it is...


ruudman
You are right! After doing the blind test myself several times I picked the URS occasionally as my favourite. (I hadn't expected that)

All I can tell you at this stage is that the URS doesn't sound as close to the SSL hardware as the Waves. Not in terms of finding it better sounding but purley based on the compression characteristic. The attack, release, grab behaviour is just closer matched on the Waves to the hardware. Bu that doesn't mean it's going to sound more appealing....if you get my drift.
Old 12th February 2006 | Show parent
  #25
theother πŸŽ™οΈ
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingofswing
On the drums side:

I have to say i prefered the uncompressed file. It has more punch, and crispness.

The compressed drums sound drenched out to me.
Of course but only because for the sake of this test I applied to much gain reduction, to hear the compressors working.
Old 12th February 2006 | Show parent
  #26
theother πŸŽ™οΈ
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by electro
Add Voxengo Marquis t3 mode to the test. It is modeled after SSL Bus comp schematic.
Good idea! I have it, really liked it and found it very SSL like when I tested it. I will add it soon....
Old 12th February 2006 | Show parent
  #27
Gear Guru
 
thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 20 years
Hi,

Not to be a dick...but what is the purpose of this test?


From everyone's responses(including your own) its clear that its best to have a bunch of tools to choose from at different times than just to rely on one.


Like when doing a drumsub as opposed to a mix buss etc.


Or are you looking to narrow it down to one?


Isn't the only way to really discover that is to do a full mix through each and come to a conclusion that way?

Again i was just curious.
Old 12th February 2006 | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
h4nc0's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
thrill,

You are totally right. Having all three would give me more colors to paint. However, this is kinda fun. heh

Also, it's a sort of learning experience for a novice like me.
Old 12th February 2006 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 
nukmusic's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I guess that point is same with any Plug-in argument........ "what sounds more like the real deal"
Old 12th February 2006 | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 
mr jkn's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Dunno which one is which, but I know which on I like...!

So, IMHO:

1. -> 1. Liked the bass alot - nicely glued together, the top seems a bit squashed and dark, but in a nice and crunchy way.

2. -> 2. Biggest 3D-sound, open in the high end. So-so in the bottom.

3. -> 3. Quite flat but nice and open in the high end.

...I would like to use no 1 and 2 in a mix, no 3 didnΒ΄t do for me.

Think this is a cool survey!
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